In 2021, Michael Davies was named executive producer of “Jeopardy!” following a two-decade stint in the same role for “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” (via IMDb). Davies revealed in an interview with the “Inside Jeopardy!” podcast that one of his first orders of business was helping game show newbie Mayim Bialik come off as more authentic in her opening remarks. At first, Bialik would glance over to Johnny Gilbert, the longtime announcer of “Jeopardy!,” and thank him. It turns out she was speaking to nobody since Gilbert records his clips from the comfort of home.
“I think on a show about fact, it wasn’t right that we were looking over to an imaginary Johnny, and instead, we thank him — because we should thank him at the beginning of the episode — but we thank him right down the camera, right down the lens, because we know he watches every single episode,” said Davies.
It’s possible that subtle changes like this and more time spent in the role will help Bialik better resonate with the masses. She revealed to Entertainment Tonight in May 2022 that she’s still finding her footing in the high-profile hosting gig: “You know, sometimes I’ll say things, and I’ll be like, ‘How did that come out of my mouth and why?’ But that’s sort of me in life in general,” she said, adding that the job is getting easier with practice.